Rewatching and Analyzing MCU Movies: Iron Man 3

Welcome back to yet another part in our MCU series. Today, we look at the last of a trilogy, Iron Man 3. A movie that ranked roughly in the middle of the pre-watch ranking, what will the re-watch bring? This movie was very entertaining and a fun one to see again. Let’s get into some good and bad parts.

Revisiting the World of Iron Man 3

The Good

The Mandarin Development

One of the best parts of this movie was watching the development of Mandarin. Some people who follow the comics were disappointed because the Mandarin is one of Iron Man’s biggest foes. However, for just a movie perspective, this was very well done.

We start off by seeing a common movie terrorist like figure that is clearly the “bad guy.” Introduced as the Mandarin, he is bombing places around the world. However, as the movie develops we find out that the Mandarin isn’t exactly who he seems to be. This twist on the character is excellent, finding out he is actually an “actor” and someone to take the heat. It’s a change on the classic superhero movie as the actual Mandarin has absolutely no ability.

The build to this, and when Stark finds the Mandarin, is great. It makes for a very solid and entertaining twist that not most MCU movies up to this point had done. Movies can tend to overdo it with bad guys at times, but having the Mandarin built up and then completely swapped was great.

Aldrich Killian

This brings us to the real Mandarin, or the one behind it all along, Aldrich Killian. Another very good bad guy, Guy Pearce kills in this role. It would have been nice if the backstory was switched up a little bit from the “Tony Stark made someone mad in his past” narrative. That is what almost all Stark plots go off of. However, it was still an incredible character and gives Obidiah Stane a run for his money as the best Iron Man villain.

Killian’s motives made lots of sense and there did seem to be some backstory behind it. Watching him silently built up an army but never actually step into the spotlight as the person who was doing it was great. The twist with the Vice President was also pretty good, although could have been shot better to be more convincing.

Overall, the plan itself did make sense and the character execution was great. From hiding in the shadows to even trying to recruit Pepper Potts onto his side, Killian was a very well-done bad guy.


Last up is the Tony Stark and Harley Keener relationship. Keener, who is just a kid, fit well with the self-absorbed Tony Stark, giving Stark a bit of a taste of what being a role model could be like, all while Stark continues to contribute his notoriously pompous replies.

The development of the first meeting to the fight outside was decent. It showed Keener trying to help Stark by providing information, it also showed he doesn’t think like everyone else, much like Stark himself.

The touch of Keener letting out the Iron Man suit wasn’t as cool as Marvel Studios likely hoped it was, but it was fun nonetheless. At the end of the movie, we see Stark’s better side when he sets up Harley with tons of new tech for his barn. This relationship becomes even a bit better in Endgame, however, we can’t include that here because it hasn’t happened in the MCU at this point.

The Bad

Tony’s Logic

On to the bad. Usually, we try and refrain from breaking everything down super logically. However, in some cases, lazy writing needs to be called out. One of these instances was Tony Stark’s logic behind telling the world his home address and then not doing anything to prepare for an attack.

Yes, there needed to be some kind of controversy for Stark to face, but it could have been written in better than that. Simply announcing to terrorists that you live in Place X but then casually going back there and not worrying about anything is insane.

Just as well, that seems like something the military should be all over. It seems like a very obvious threat and the lack of any kind of police or military personnel is very unrealistic.

Final Fight

Much like the first Iron Man, the final fight is what really hurts the movie. The movie itself is incredibly entertaining and fun to watch. It even felt like it was better than the original Iron Man. However, the final fight scene really falls short. The suit vs. superhuman battle at night isn’t quite as cool as it was meant to be, and the whole thing just felt flat.

The Pepper death would have been crazy if it wasn’t super obvious she was okay. However, because it was really obvious, even that just didn’t feel super important. It was also pretty cool how Stark “killed” Killian by pinning his suit to him. But it was also ruined when they found out he was okay. Somehow, surviving that blast, Pepper then makes a very non-surprising return and saves the day. The whole thing just felt common and boring.

Worth the Rewatch?

Iron Man 3 certainly has a case to be the best of the trilogy. While many will believe the original Iron Man is the best, this one was also well done. It has less humor than the other movies, but it was really cool to see the character development. The villains were a huge part of this story, but it worked really well because of that.

A movie that is very easy to re-watch. If you have just over two hours giving this a view isn’t a bad idea.

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